I would like to give credit where credit is due. Videos are from YouTube and other sources such as NicoNico while Oricon rankings and other information are translated from the Japanese Wikipedia unless noted.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Cherish -- Tento Mushi no Samba (てんとう虫のサンバ)

It doesn't really sound like a samba, but "Tento Mushi no Samba" (The Ladybug Samba) is just one of those old-fashioned folk songs from Japan that just makes me wanna grab a butterfly net and head out into the fields (mind you, if I skipped around and did that at my age, that net should probably be around MY head). It's one of those tunes that has come in and out of my memories over the decades via the various retrospectives and commercials.

Back in 1968, Yoshitaka Matsuzaki(松崎好孝) started his band, Cherish, with three others in his hometown of Nagoya. The name of the group came from the 1966 song of the same name by the US band The Association that used to pop up on my AM radio back in the 70s and on Muzak speakers everywhere. In 1970, Etsuko Matsui(松井悦子)joined to make a 5-strong group with an official debut a year later with the song "Nanoni Anata wa Kyoto e Yuku no"(なのにあなたは京都へ行くの...But You're Heading To Kyoto). However in 1972, Cherish became a simple duo with Matsuzaki and Matsui.

Their biggest hit was "Tento Mushi no Samba", a cheerful and skippy song about that wedding day in the forest. It became a million-seller peaking at No. 5 on Oricon after its release in July 1973 as Cherish's 7th single and would eventually become the 24th-ranked song of the year. Written by Daizo Saito(さいとう大三) and composed by Shunichi Makaino (馬飼野俊一...the younger brother of composer Koji Makaino), it has also become a popular song to be played at weddings, giving it a certain immortality. And perhaps the song sprinkled some further good luck to the duo....Matsuzaki and Matsui would get married in 1977.


  1. Thanks for this... It was very helpful on tracking down the history of the Song!


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